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Celtics punch ticket to NBA Finals vs. Warriors with win over Heat in Game 7

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After the Golden State Warriors eliminated the Dallas Mavericks in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green awaited the winner of the Eastern Conference finals between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat.

Following a stellar performance by Jimmy Butler in Game 6, the Heat forced a win or go home Game 7 on Sunday against the Celtics to decide a spot in the NBA finals.

After the Celtics jumped out to an early run behind Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart, the Heat pushed back into the game late. The Heat cut a 17-point Boston advantage to only two points with under a minute remaining in the contest.

Following a stop on the defensive side of the floor, the Heat had the opportunity to tie or take the lead with under 20 seconds on the clock. With the chance to take the ball to the bucket on a fastbreak, Jimmy Butler pulled up from beyond the arc for a dagger 3-pointer. However, Butler’s jumper clanked off the front rim, essentially sealing the contest for Boston.

Smart knocked down a pair of late free throws to give the Celtics a 100-96 victory over the Heat in Game 7. Following Sunday’s contest, the NBA Finals is officially set between Boston and Golden State.

Jayson Tatum scored a game-high 26 points on 9-of-21 shooting with four triples, 10 boards, six assists, two blocks and a steal in 46 minutes. After his performance in Game 6, Tatum was named the inaugural winner of the Larry Bird Eastern Conference finals Most Valuable Player.

After Game 7, the Celtics and Warriors will get four days off before the start of the NBA Finals on June 2. Game 1 of the Finals is set to tip-off in the Bay Area on Thursday at 6 p.m. PT.

This post originally appeared on Warriors Wire! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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